Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Woman taken in Adultery

John 8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
12 ¶ Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jesus Christ is my hero. My soul sings at the tender mercy he offers all mankind.

John is the only gospel that contains the story of the woman taken in adultery. It is such a beautiful story, I am grateful we have it. I know this God, he is my Eternal God and Savior.

This woman was taken in the very act of adultery. There are some disturbing things about this. First, where is the man she was with? He, too, is guilty. Second, this is daytime, I smell a set-up. Those are the results of the law.

According to Jewish law (which was a curse) she was to be stoned. Jesus says that he who is without sin should cast the first stone. Being under the law, they were all sinners and could not do it.

Then, in the most beautiful act of mercy, Jesus condemns her not and tells her to go and sin no more. Perfect! The only way she could sin no more is if she is no longer under the law. I believe that her trust in Jesus Christ released her from the bondage of the law (sin) and made her free.

I find it so confusing that Jesus would deal so mercifully with this woman and have so much wrath towards Emma and the early female saints. It just doesn't make sense. It doesn't even sound like the same God. The confusion melts away when I come to the knowledge that D&C 132 is a cursing, just like the law of the Old Testament.

There is a choice to be made. We can live the law of justice, carnal commandments and cursings OR we can be claimed by mercy, walk in the light and be free in Christ.


  1. TST,
    I will have to spend some more time on your blog. You have put together some interesting thoughts. One note I would add regarding the story of the woman caught in adultery regarding its position in scripture.

    According to Bart Ehrman in Misquoting Jesus, this story was not part of the original gospel. It can be found both in John and in some early copies, in Mark. He postulates that, because of this later entry, and the difference in writing style, that it was likely an oral history that was committed to scripture later. Does that make is true or false? I can only answer that the Spirit must quide.

  2. I agree. There is opposition in the scriptures. We ultimately decide the scriptures we will believe. We don't really know who wrote most (all?) of the Bible. It really is vital we read with the Spirit and an open and humble heart.

    What do you think? Does the story of the woman taken in adultery sound like the way God deals with his children?

    It is for me. The story is symbolic of truth regardless of its historicity.